Ross McCormack moved to the brink of 30 goals for the season with a classy winner at Barnsley and then played down talk of a summer transfer to the Premier League by saying he would extend his deal with Leeds United if the club put an offer in front of him.
The Scotland international continued his exceptional campaign with a 29th goal at Oakwell on Saturday, earning Leeds a 1-0 victory and taking himself to the verge of a rare landmark.
McCormack stands to become only the second Leeds player in 22 years to hit 30 goals in a single season and he is two strikes away from reaching that figure in league games alone – a feat last achieved by John Charles in the 1950s.
The 27-year-old’s form has bucked the trend of a poor term for United and increased the prospect of top-flight sides tabling bids for him when the FIFA transfer window opens next month.
McCormack signed a new four-year contract at Elland Road last August following a concerted attempt by Middlesbrough to sign him and he was the subject of approaches from West Ham United and Cardiff City in January.
But he indicated that he was willing to remain with United in the Championship, saying: “I’ve got a couple of years left on my contract and whether the new owner (Massimo Cellino) wants me to extend that or whatever, that’s up to him. If he puts a contract in front of me to sign, I’ll be part of this new regime and hopefully take the club forward.”
Manager Brian McDermott conceded last week that close-season offers for McCormack were inevitable but he is hopeful the United captain will stay at Elland Road next season.
McDermott said: “We all want to be in the Premier League. Everyone does. Every player should want to play in the Premier League but we all want to do it with Leeds.”
A 16th-minute effort from McCormack was enough to settle an unremarkable derby. The result redeemed a series of poor defeats suffered by Leeds at Oakwell in recent seasons and McCormack said: “Personally I’ve been here a few times and we’ve rolled over. That’s not good enough for a club of this size. On this occasion we rolled our sleeves up.”